David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Cognitive Systems Research 11 (4):378-395 (2010)
In this paper, we approach the idea of group cognition from the perspective of the “extended mind” thesis, as a special case of the more general claim that systems larger than the individual human, but containing that human, are capable of cognition (Clark, 2008; Clark & Chalmers, 1998). Instead of deliberating about “the mark of the cognitive” (Adams & Aizawa, 2008), our discussion of group cognition is tied to particular cognitive capacities. We review recent studies of group problem-solving and group memory which reveal that specific cognitive capacities that are commonly ascribed to individuals are also aptly ascribed at the level of groups. These case studies show how dense interactions among people within a group lead to both similarity-inducing and differentiating dynamics that affect the group's ability to solve problems. This supports our claim that groups have organization-dependent cognitive capacities that go beyond the simple aggregation of the cognitive capacities of individuals. Group cognition is thus an emergent phenomenon in the sense of Wimsatt (1986). We further argue that anybody who rejects our strategy for showing that cognitive properties can be instantiated at multiple levels in the organizational hierarchy on a priori grounds is a “demergentist,” and thus incurs the burden of proof for explaining why cognitive properties are “stuck” at a certain level of organizational structure. Finally, we show that our analysis of group cognition escapes the “coupling-constitution” charge that has been leveled against the extended mind thesis (Adams & Aizawa, 2008).
|Keywords||group cognition distributed cognition extended mind emergence collective intelligence collective memory collective problem-solving|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
John Sutton, Celia B. Harris, Paul G. Keil & Amanda J. Barnier (2010). The Psychology of Memory, Extended Cognition, and Socially Distributed Remembering. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):521-560.
J. Adam Carter, Jesper Kallestrup, S. Orestis Palermos & Duncan Pritchard (2014). Varieties of Externalism. Philosophical Issues 24 (1):63-109.
S. Orestis Palermos (2013). Knowledge and Cognitive Integration. Synthese (8):1-21.
Kourken Michaelian (2012). Is External Memory Memory? Biological Memory and Extended Mind. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (3):1154-1165.
Michael L. Anderson, Michael J. Richardson & Anthony Chemero (2012). Eroding the Boundaries of Cognition: Implications of Embodiment1. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (4):717-730.
Similar books and articles
Georg Theiner (2009). Making Sense of Group Cognition: The Curious Case of Transactive Memory Systems. In W. Christensen, E. Schier & J. Sutton (eds.), ASCS09: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. Macquarie Center for Cognitive Science 334-42.
Georg Theiner & Wilson Robert (2013). Group Mind. In Byron Kaldis (ed.), Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences. Sage 401-04.
Georg Theiner (forthcoming). A Beginner’s Guide to Group Minds. In Jesper Kallestrup & Mark Sprevak (eds.), New Waves in Philosophy of Mind. Palgrave Macmillan
Georg Theiner (2013). Onwards and Upwards with the Extended Mind: From Individual to Collective Epistemic Action. In Linnda Caporael, James Griesemer & William Wimsatt (eds.), Developing Scaffolds. MIT Press 191-208.
Georg Theiner (2013). Transactive Memory Systems: A Mechanistic Analysis of Emergent Group Memory. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (1):65-89.
Georg Theiner (2008). From Extended Minds to Group Minds: Rethinking the Boundaries of the Mental. Dissertation, Indiana University
Georg Theiner & Tim O'Connor (2010). The Emergence of Group Cognition. In A. Corradini & T. O'Connor (eds.), Emergence in Science and Philosophy. Routledge 6--78.
Christian List (2003). Distributed Cognition: A Perspective From Social Choice Theory. In M. Albert, D. Schmidtchen & S. Voigt (eds.), Scientific Competition: Theory and Policy, Conferences on New Political Economy. Mohr Siebeck
Deborah P. Tollefsen, Rick Dale & Alexandra Paxton (2013). Alignment, Transactive Memory, and Collective Cognitive Systems. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (1):49-64.
Robert A. Wilson (2001). Group-Level Cognition. Philosophy of Science 3 (September):S262-S273.
Ronald N. Giere (2007). Distributed Cognition Without Distributed Knowing. Social Epistemology 21 (3):313 – 320.
Robert A. Wilson (2005). Collective Memory, Group Minds, and the Extended Mind Thesis. Cognitive Processing 6 (4).
Shannon Spaulding (2012). Overextended Cognition. Philosophical Psychology 25 (4):469 - 490.
Added to index2011-05-30
Total downloads22 ( #170,918 of 1,902,204 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #280,998 of 1,902,204 )
How can I increase my downloads?